Kate MccGwire

London-based artist Kate MccGwire uses feathers and wishbones in huge numbers to create amazing pieces of art. She originally started to collect the feathers from a shed taken over by pigeons situated next to her studio. The process is slow and methodical but the outcome is fantastic. She creates intricate patterns that give her pieces flow and movement.

"There are so many reasons I began working with the feathers. I think one of the most important is their sense of otherness. When you find one on the ground they always look so utterly separate from the bird they've been discarded by. It's difficult to imagine when you look at a quill that this flesh-less stem was once attached to a bird. It's part of the mechanism that helps it fly and keeps it warm but seen in splendid isolation a feather becomes detached from these physiological concerns and becomes
something 'alien', an object, and a carrier for meaning in its own right."

"I am not morbid but death is never very far from us. My studio is on the river Thames – everyday I am very aware of the elements and the wildlife around me. It’s a constant battle. A swan laid its eggs right next to the barge. When they started hatching, crows surrounded the nest and stole away the cygnets to eat. Crows also fly low over rabbit burrows, as soon as a young rabbit (Leveret) pokes its head out of the burrow crows come down and swipe them, fly them up high into the sky and drop them to kill them prior to eating. It’s a brutal world."